In case you missed the polo folks at Ritchie Bike Day, it’s not too late to learn-to-bike-polo. What is bike polo you ask? Well, it’s the noble sport of kings — played out on any old bike you have in the garage.
The traditional game of bike polo is actually quite old. It was first played in Ireland in 1891 and was given a place in the spotlight during the 1908 Olympics. Now, the cool kids are playing an urban variation of the sport called Hardcourt Bike Polo.
The real beauty of the game is that anyone can play, with any gear that feels right for them.
If you have a bike that is easy to peddle, nimble to steer, and has brakes that work — you’re golden. The mallet that modern polo players use can be made from an old ski pole for less than the cost of a second-hand pair of jeans.
Not sure where to start? No worries, the DIY culture is still strong, and we have a community of bike enthusiasts that love to tinker. If you have a bike project and need some solid mechanical advice, the polo group has got your back.
The polo community in YEG is still young and growing. There is a really great article that was done by the Local Good on how Edmonton Bike Polo started from humble beginnings over bikes and beer.
EBP got its start in 2009 when MacDonald and some fellow cyclists decided, over a post-ride beer, to try starting a regular game. After investigating several locations around the city, they settled on the Ritchie rink and began playing two or three nights a week. While the core members have varied, they’ve kept up momentum from year to year, attracting new players and connecting with similar groups across Western Canada.
The first rule of bike polo, is please, talk to your friends about bike polo. (Seriously).
The other rules are pretty simple: shoot the ball properly (don’t just shuffle it in the net, because that’s too easy). And try to stay upright on your bike. But, the only thing that could make it better is you.
This irreverent little sport can really only be described as an “inappropriate amount of fun.” The games are totally free and take place at the Ritchie Community League rink (7727 98th Street) on Mondays through the Spring, Summer and Fall. Look for casual games and skills/drills starting on Thursdays.
Edmonton Bike Polo is hosting an open-tournament on the weekend of September 22 and 23. The tournament will be a 3x3, fun-focus round-robin elimination.
As they say, Bike polo is ok. Yeah, it might be an understatement. But we want you to decide.
Support local sport — Come play polo.